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· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, long-time lurker of the forum and decided to "have a crack" at a budget build.
My aim is to break the 250bhp barrier and see where i end up, with the intention to blast some UK trackdays on a budget.
Original Budget was £5000 all in to buy and build a toy on the road.

Current Spec:
N14 Engine
Wossner Pistons
P.E.C Rods
King Main Bearings
CG Automotive 5 Puck Clutch Plate
New Thermostat Housing
MST Cooling Hose Kit
Aircon Delete
Stock Turbo & Exhaust with gutted cat
Braided Oil Line
16x7 Rota Slipstream Wheels with Nankang NS2-R Semi Slick Tyres
D2 Coilovers

Purchased Mods Yet to Fit: (Once Run-In)
Full JCW Exhaust System
APW Custom Manifold
APW Custom Downpipe
JCW Turbo w/ Billet Compressor Wheel
LK Performance Wideband 02 Kit
Custom Intake Kit - More on this later.

Roll on Part 1:

Browsing Facebook marketplace, i stumbled across this 2007 R56 with tons of extras, already mapped to stage 2 (Currently unknown map) and lowered on a set of D2 Coilovers.

The car ran but smoked like a K reg transit, picked up for a 3 figure sum.
I picked up a compression tested and cylinder 3 wasn't playing ball.
Next stop was dropping it down to Josh @ SRR Motorsport for a tear down and inspection.


As suspected, Ringland failure on cylinder 3. its difficult to document the cylinder wall damage, it was heavily scored and pitted towards the top of the cylinder wall with a missing piece of the piston sat in the oil pickup mouth.

I now had two real options;
1: Sleeve the block at a reasonable expense, this seemed a tad overkill for my power goals.
2: Take a punt at a second hand deal id scouted on another N14 engine and gearbox locally.

I went with option 2. Again, a 3 figure purchase!


At this point it was make or break for this project, Morale was low due to the high hopes of rescuing the previous block and id gone in totally blind on a used crate engine.

So the head was whipped off for inspection:


Other than some minor carbon build up on the pistons, the block was fresher than fresh! could still see the factory honing on the bores! I was so happy I could have cried!

Time to build this baby up.



· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
King Main Bearings, P.E.C Rods & Wossner Pistons - For future proofing and peace of mind.

Rods and pistons balanced/weight matched.

The replacement block was then put onto an engine stand and the strip, clean & rebuild begins:


In the meantime, I had gained a shedload of spare parts, so decided to see if i could strike some trade-up deals.

I managed to swap a couple of bits for a JCW Turbo in need of a rebuild.
Marked with a Sharpie the stock rotation of the housings in comparison to the core, as i planned to replace just the core.


Upon strip-down, it was apparent as to why this turbo had failed. The exhaust turbine base had disintegrated and vanished in places.
Symptoms were heavy smoking.


Fresh core arrived, specced to JCW but with a gorgeous billet compressor wheel, its a shame it will never be seen.
Balanced to 150k+ RPM



· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Dummy fit into the housings:

This is sat on the shelf now waiting until I receive a custom fabricated high flow manifold and downpipe.

Picked up an ebay intercooler (if these work on many racecars, im happy for it to be on a road car!)


Bottom end built, ready for further cleaning:


Picked up a CG Motorsport 5 paddle clutch, these have been use with great success on many drift cars, and the price is sub £140.00 delivered!


Engine and Drivetrain taking shape nicely!


Get her in there!



Josh then showed me that the coolant hoses had been butchered previously, so they were replaced with overnight parts from MTC, fastest delivery ever.


· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Love a Facebook Marketplace bargain,
Picked up these Rota Slipstream wheels, listed as 17x8 et40.
Upon measuring them, they were actually 16x7 et40, so took them anyway with the idea of running meatier walled tyres as this car is not going to be a stance queen.


Ordered up some matching wheel bolts and spigot rings to seat them safely on the car, as well as ordered 4x Nankang NS2-R tyres (tbc)

Same day, i also found a full JCW cat-back exhaust system, needs a clean up but it was so cheap i really couldn't say no!

Currently the car is now running, pending MOT.

My next step is to run the engine in and dump the oil and refresh, Throw her on the dyno so as i have a benchmark on the stock turbo/mani/gutted dp.
Then i shall fit the custom manifold, downpipe and turbo with the FJCW exhaust system with an LD Performance Wideband O2 Kit and re-dyno.

As i am unsure what the map is on this car, my main priority will be to datlog the perfomance and see just how safe it is, Manic are no longer around so I may be forced into looking into an alternative solution.

Fingers crossed i can push this build over 250bhp and have some fun on track.

Will update accordingly.

· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Update 25/09/2020

The mini has been on the road for about a month now and is amazing fun to drive. Already had a few victims on nights in Mexico, I would estimate that I'm almost bang on 250 on the stock turbo. All run in and oil dropped for new.

Picked up some powerflex rear lower arm bushes and an updated rear engine mount with powerflex bush to suit, these really transform the ride and power delivery to the ground!

No more engine lurch!

Next up was to swap out the tired coilovers for some BC racing BR units, the drop in height is less aggressive.


Also got some suitable road tyres fitted to the Rota Slipstreams, I havnt seen many R56 with 16s, at first I was a little unsure but now I absolutely love how it sits and the presence on the road is pretty aggressive.


I've tackled a few teething issues during the running in process, namely the coolant pipe that crosses the rear of the block split so that's been replaced, followed by the noise maker popping out causing a boost leak which then threw the engine into limp mode.
I also think I've reached the top limit of whichever map this car is running. It's peaking boost around 18psi but doesn't like being held at WOT for very long as it begins to pull timing.
Next steps are:
Hit the dyno to get a baseline run.
Fit the custom manifold and dp with the new rebuilt turbo as detailed above.
Get it mapped by a reputable company (thinking of running up to Manchester for a custom map by dervtech)
Get the brakes upgraded, probably some braided lines, brembo discs and yellow stuff pads.

Get on the track for some David and Goliath action 🤜🤛

· Registered
2007 Mini Cooper S R56
684 Posts
Nice ride. Car timing is pulling due to IATs getting higher. Your Intercooler is not performing as it should mate. Meth could change the game though

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· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice ride. Car timing is pulling due to IATs getting higher. Your Intercooler is not performing as it should mate. Meth could change the game though

Στάλθηκε από το SM-G960F μου χρησιμοποιώντας Tapatalk
Thanks for the response :) I changed the coolant temp sensor and its requesting around 39 degrees now which is a much comfier position, it was requesting high timing only at part throttle. I'll get some logs soon but here is a before and after using torque app and elm.

Also picked up a slight boost increase.
I also managed to get her on my friends dyno this afternoon, she made 211bhp and 266ftlb torque.


My suspicions are that the map loaded onto the ecu is a "generic" stage 1 file, it ran well but is peaking at 17.5-18 psi boost, with a 10.0 afr at WOT.

Next step will be to put the JCW spec turbo, mani and dp on and then I need to find a decent mapper, unfortunately, the nearest person to me that can produce a map good enough would be a few hours away from me. Any tips to a decent stage 2 map that can either supply a file or remote tune would be great!

· Registered
131 Posts
Nice project mate! Keep us updated with your progress. Know quite a few R56s now running meth, if its seeing track, I would highly recommend it, especially if you want to spend good money on a reputable mappe. Stops the carbon build up too :)

· Registered
Mini Cooper S R56 2007
40 Posts
Hi, Nice build. I'm thinking along similar lines and have been ready the RXY build and Thepenls build for ideas. Evolve do a tune that can also be purchased with a device to remove it. They claim it will remap upto 210 bhp with no mods and more without and its the one I'm looking at along with their intercooler as that is also recommended by others. Keep going with it.

· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
An update on the build :

The JCW turbo, Log manifold and Miltek downpipe was fitted, followed by the manifold cracking after 10 days so reverted back to the stock cast Mani.

Brakes were upgraded to stock size Godspeed J Hook discs, and Mintex M1144 pads, What a difference!

The misfire situation just would not get any better, regardless of changes to the car's spec, I managed to put down 256bhp with the misfire, which would not rear its head on the dyno which indicated that it was a load based issue.

I was about to give up on the project a couple of weekends ago when I decided to give it one last try.
Initially, I had a stage 2 map done by a reputable tuner, this resolved nothing, other than making the sprint to the misfire quicker, however, noticed that the boost levels wouldn't allow over 17psi.
This was cured with adjusting the throw on the wastegate arm, now held 21.7psi.

Engine loom was swapped, my coolant temp issue vanished along with smoother general running, great, we were getting somewhere!
Next up, i was offered another ECU with a Stg3 Manic Map with keys and matching CAS Module - More on this later! and miraculously, the misfire was gone!

After doing a little more research, it turns out that the 07 ECUs suffered with a bad batch of injector drivers, just like the 335i BMWs did! and mine was amongst the bad.

Now for an update.

I managed to strike a great deal on a GTX2863r Owens Turbo and custom manifold/downpipe kit, along with a Turbosmart Eboost2 boost controller.
So now the Mini is running spot on, its time to increase some power. excuse the bad photo. Goal is now 350hp as i dont have a CSS system or Block Guard.

Photograph Black Purple Textile Pink

I also treated her to some new shoes, loving how it sits now.

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Window

Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Hood

I will update more regularly now, as I no longer wish to torch the car.



· Registered
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I fear for your block running those PEC rods on a big turbo.

We've seen a few failures with big boost.
I've feared for my block with 25k+ miles of miss fire 😂.
If it blows, I'll create a new blog and go at it again 👍🏻

My goals aren't record setting, still open block.
The head will probably lift before the rods let go.
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